By on June 13, 2015

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The media is all abuzz about former Olympic decathlon gold-medalist Bruce Jenner transforming himself into a woman. The 2015 Volkswagen GTI could be considered the sporty car equivalent of a decathlete, excelling in a wide variety of automotive virtues.

I see a marketing opportunity here for VW: the decathlon champion meets the decathlon champion of cars. After all, Jenner is a GTI himself: a Gender Transformed Imbecile…Heyooo, I’ll be here all week! Tip your writers by clicking on the jump!

The 2015 Golf GTI represents the 7th generation of the venerable Volkswagen hot hatchback. The car is larger and lighter than the previous incarnation but the bigger news is the jump in power for the 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection 4-cylinder engine. Now with 210 hp (220 hp with the Performance Package) and 258 pound-feet of torque, up 10 hp and 51 pound-feet over the previous model, the GTI sports the ultimate Millennial Motor.

My GTI is the base S model 2-door with the 6-speed manual transmission, priced at $25,605 with freight. I was torn about springing an additional $600 for the 4-door version for its easier access to the back seat and to lose the massive doors. I also wanted the Performance Package with its increased horsepower, bigger brakes and torque-sensing limited-slip differential. The problem is I couldn’t find one: I previously wrote about how difficult it is to find specific models and option packages on VW dealers’ lots and our friends at Jalopnik piled on, agreeing that getting the exact GTI that you desire is nearly impossible. I wasn’t willing to order a car and wait 6 months, travel hundreds of miles or sacrifice color to find a match.

The GTI’s best-in-class interior with its cloth tartan plaid seats and Audi-worthy dash is a delight. The intuitive controls fall right to hand. My wife and I covered 770 miles in a single day with nary a backache thanks to the supportive seats. Nice interior touches abound: two sunglass cubbies, two power outlets, an adjustable-height center armrest, red illuminated door sills and massive door pockets for storage. The 5.8″ touch screen for entertainment and navigation functions is a bit small but an 8″ version is said to be in the works for 2016 models. The base model has no sunroof so it is quite dark inside the cabin, though I like the extra headroom.

009

Fold down the rear seats and you have 53 cubic feet of cargo area, close to that of many small CUVs. Two adults will fit comfortably in the back seat though ingress and egress is tricky in the 2-door model. I love how you flip the giant VW emblem on the hatch to open it.

My favorite attribute of the GTI is its balance between power and economy. Alex clocked the hatch at 5.75 seconds for the 0 to 60 mph sprint. The nearly turbo-lag free motor does a nice job of propelling the GTI through its tall gearing – you bounce off the rev limiter in 3rd gear at an eye-popping 106 mph. The 6-speed GTI is rated at 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. We saw 36.1 mpg on a 2,500 mile jaunt to Wyoming on its fresh motor and 24 to 27 mpg around town for an overall average of 31.9 mpg in the car’s first 3,950 miles.

Coming out of a S2000, I expected to have to adjust to some lack of feel in the steering but the GTI’s variable-ratio electronic steering is more change than I expected. I will note it is nicely weighted and does improve when in “Sport” driving mode. Hitting some curves at 8/10th, the GTI remained neutral and nicely planted, easily the best handling front-wheel car I have ever driven. I plan to hit a track day before my next report to test the car’s limits and see if I can lift a wheel or two.

I keep forgetting this is a front-wheel drive car, as torque steer is near non-existent (shift the VW’s slick tranny from 2nd to 3rd at the redline and the car pulls to the right ever so slightly.)

2015 Pics 079

Living in Tucson means I have the pleasure of navigating the fifth worst roads in the United States. Our potholes would be called sinkholes in your town. The GTI’s firm suspension did not take too kindly to our craters but I rate its overall ride as average for a sports car.

The GTI comes standard with VW’s Soundakoter, which pipes artificial engine sounds into the interior. The system is not mentioned in any marketing materials as carmakers do not want you to know about it so as to enhance the test drive experience and sell more cars. I will admit I loved the GTI’s smooth sound during my demo drive and still do. I am such a mullet.

Much has been written about Volkswagen’s suspect reliability and my GTI is already having issues. The shift from 5th to 6th gear is sometimes not as smooth as it should be and I am also suspicious of the 2/3 synchro. The proprietary iPod connecting cord was dead from day one though Bluetooth connectivity works fine. The driver’s seat belt is also a bit balky.

Despite these problems I am happy with my fun and versatile GTI. I am not quite ready to deem it the best $25,000 to $30,000 sporty car available today until we see its bugaboos go away.

At which point I will officially name my car Caitlyn.

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150 Comments on “2015 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Tester Update...”


  • avatar
    nels0300

    What I’m most curious about is a long term update on the cylinder head intake ports at about 40K miles.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This crop of EA888 engines has port fuel injection along with direct injection. Should clean the valves and eliminate the problem.

      • 0 avatar
        slap

        The EA888 engines for the US do not have the port fuel injection along with direct injection – just direct injection.

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          Yup, hopefully VW did something else besides port injection to remedy it, otherwise the performance will gradually degrade until you need to take the intake manifold off and shoot walnut shells into the head. It drives me nuts when companies don’t fix stuff like this.

          • 0 avatar
            FractureCritical

            this isn’t actually (well, usually) correct. the carbon cleaning process can be done with the head on the car and runs about $400-$600, depending on where you shop, and it’s usually needed at 60k-70k miles, not 40k. I don’t like it, either, and it shouldn’t have to be done at all. But given the VW faithful readily shell out that much every 40k miles for a DSG service, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that bad.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            I didn’t say you have to take the head off, you have to take the intake manifold off. If it’s bad enough to do at 60K, why not 40K miles? Or 30K? If there’s build up at 60K miles, there’s build up at 40K miles. What’s happening is like the opposite of port and polishing the head, but gradually.

          • 0 avatar
            duncanator

            My 08 Jetta has 111,000 miles on it and I’ve had to have this service performed 2x in the first 100k miles.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “Much has been written about Volkswagen’s suspect reliability and my GTI is already having issues. The shift from 5th to 6th gear is sometimes not as smooth as it should be and I am also suspicious of the 2/3 synchro. The proprietary iPod connecting cord was dead from day one though Bluetooth connectivity works fine. The driver’s seat belt is also a bit balmy.”

      VW comes out with products every now and then, like this GTI (or even Golf in base form), that really tempt me, but I just can’t pull the trigger after having been burned and knowing so many others who were burned by VW abhorrent quality.

      My “unreliable” RX-8 has 112,000 miles, and has only required basic maintenance – oil/filter changes, coolant drain/fills, plugs/wires/coils – zero problems.

      I’ve never experienced any problem with a single Japanese vehicle I’ve owned, and I’ve owned 7 Japanese vehicles (3 assembled in the U.S., 4 assembled in Japan).

      • 0 avatar
        FractureCritical

        kind sir, speaking as one who carries a Holy Jihad against the V and W brand as design by the western devils, I will myself note that the poor build quality of VW products is matched only by VW’s apathay about the poor build quality of their products. In other words: how can a company make crap while simultaneously not giving a crap? It’s paradoxical, and I refuse to subscribe.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You know who needs to make a hot hatch like yesterday? Lexus.

  • avatar
    Gregg

    So, you put in a reference to Caitlyn Jenner in the hopes that more people would click on this GTI report?

  • avatar
    fttp

    Yup. Good luck finding a 2 dr PP S stick. Bought a BRZ instead. Car feels like a thoroghbred by comparison.

  • avatar
    Fred

    You must be a young whipper snapper to think the VWs 2 doors are massive. 2 door Monte Carlo’s of the 1970s and it’s GM clones, now those were massive.

  • avatar
    DIYer

    “Soundaktor” (sound actuator) – I’d disconnect it or take it out, and put a set of Billy Boat pipes on.

  • avatar
    TAP

    Please keep your juvenile personal commentary to yourself and stick to cars.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      Lighten up.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Do any of the folks with the “lighten up” response actually know someone who is transgender? If you did you might not find it so funny. My former niece is anything but an “imbecile”, having attended Hunter College on a full scholarship and, subsequently, Berkeley Law, earning a J.D. and passing two bar exams. I can’t possibly know what could cause a person to make such a radical change to their being and, to be sure, I certainly have my struggles trying to fully accept it. And that’s why it isn’t funny to some. Go through it with someone you love and you might not be so glib.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        And power to her and Jenner to live life to the fullest. Jenner made this very public by selling the transition. Open season.

        Secondly, and this is only my opinion, but I’m not sure I buy Jenner’s switch. I think the publicity gas tank was running out and this was the next step to continue the media spotlight.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It’s certainly been a sale item. That was probably the most important driving force behind it. That 80s Olympics money is long gone, and now we need something else since we’re divorced and won’t be on the E! payroll any longer.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Also, if it came out now, and if he was trying to re-invent himself as the new Bruce, if it came out that he had long-standing attraction to men, it would have been tabloid scandal fodder that would have killed any chance of cashing in, post-E! and post-Kardashian inner circle.

            But now he is a cause celebre on the cover of Vanity Fair, instead of being plastered all over the tabs in an article about him, John Travolta and whoever else is the hot Hollywood outing of the month.

            Cause there is just no way he was he-man macho, walks on only one side of the street before his surgery, and then suddenly developed a taste for something different only after his surgery.

            He must have been walking on the wild side before he joined “all the colored girls going doot-da-doot!”, a quote from a Lou Reed song, so don’t try to flay me for being non-PC, either about Bruce/Caitlyn (depending where on the timeline) or by referencing “colored girls”.

            Now he is the new and improved product, ready for public consumption and mass marketing campaigns. And it clearly sells, some places.

            Personally, if it was me, I would rather have economized a bit more on my Olympic and post-Olympic income, and not had to trip the light fantastic to still be a marketable commodity at his age.

            But as Little Richard said “it’s my ding-a-ling”, so he can do what he wants with it.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    I’m having much the same reaction to my 2015 nearly identical car (except for four doors) other than that I’ve had no issues in 12,000 miles. Frankly, I wouldn’t choose the GTI if I lived where the roads are terrible. On decent roads, the ride is fine, and it really smooths out on the highway. It’s a totally relaxed car at 80 mph, with little tire, engine or wind noise. It’s an altogether excellent car.

  • avatar
    buzzyrpm

    Reviewers noting that the GTI has the “best in class” interior are not paying attention to others in the segment. The GTI interior has been in a stand still while others are getting better. Particularly the Mazda3. It has a deep black interior that is vastly superior to the GTI. The GTI still has economy class gray plastic . Also is no one paying attention to the garish large cut line between the GTI’s dash and its lower center console??

    VW can do better. Maybe they are scared to compete with their stable partner Audi and eat into their customers?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Really? I’ve been shopping the Golf and the Mazda 3, and the Mazda may be nice inside, but the VW’s far better. It has the best interior in the whole segment by far. In terms of quality feel and refinenement, it’s in a league of its own compared to other compacts.

      (Now, whether the quality feel translates into actual long term quality is another question…)

      • 0 avatar
        buzzyrpm

        I can’t get over the gray plastic of the VW’s interior. Also the imitation carbon fiber-like pattern that resides behind the drivers dash area is cheap. The classy details like the steering wheel, shifter and seats make up for it somewhat. The Mazda3 in top trim is a much more adventurous design with a lot of really nice detailing. The VW’s dash is too conservative and general styling has been done before by other manufacturers including Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      slap

      Deep black interiors are terrible. Not only do they show all the dirt, they get miserably hot in the summer.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I haven’t gone through a whole fondle-and-poke fest for either car, but I have driven a Golf and 3 back to back and I don’t see the interior quality difference you’re talking about. Dash material, hard plastics, switchgear tactility, to me the two cars seem about equal. The only thing that jumped out at me was that the VW’s doors shut with a much sturdier feel and sound and the GTI has a more supportive seat.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I’ve been in a few MKVII’s, and that cut-line you mention hits me every time. This is supposed to be a premium interior? And those wobbly volume/HVAC knobs are just so cheap. You are correct, the GTI’s interior has stood still, while others have caught up.

      Frankly, I think the interiors in the Mustang and Challenger are both nicer than what VW puts in the GTI.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    I’m going to withold comments on the ridiculous Caitlyn baiting, and stick to the car.

    Why is it Ford’s 2.0T has 240 hp and GM’s 260 while VW’s is a pathetic 210hp? Does anyone know if VW is underating the hp figures like BMW does?

    • 0 avatar
      fttp

      yes they are underrated. It’s making 240 at least. Look at the 100 mph traps.

    • 0 avatar
      blppt

      Actually, most road tests I’ve seen have the 220hp GTI (performance package) beating the 252hp Focus ST to 60 and the 1/4. So, either VW underrated their motor or Ford overrates theirs. Considering that Ford took that flak in 2000 for the overrated 320hp Cobra, I doubt they would risk getting caught for a 2nd time in one of their performance cars.

      VW/Audi & BMW both underrate their 2.0T engines from what i’ve seen. Most of the time, the number advertised for these motors is closer to what you get at the wheels than at the flywheel.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Possibly different boost levels, and/or tuning for a broader powerband in the midrange instead of aiming for higher peak numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Why get hung up on the claimed hp figures of a car when the acceleration stats are clearly available from numerous sources?

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Because hp figures are easy to toss out at a cocktail party, while most people outside of automotive circles have no idea what a good zero to sixty or forty to eighty time would be, or when and why that would matter.

        And quarter mile numbers? Most people think they have NO relevance to on the road performance. Plus there are two numbers to deal with, which is information overload for most people.

        And the way most people drive, they are probably correct, too, about not knowing or caring about performance stats and trap times.

        But an HP number is concise and directly comparable to another, without taking into account power curve broadness, etc.

        “Yours is 240? Well, mine is 260!”

        It’s just a good thing the numbers are triple digits in most cases, instead of single digits, or the comparisons would be too obvious.

        “Yours is five point five? Mine is six point three!”

        [“And I hear Bruce’s went to zero after the last time he took it to the shop!” “Not quite, but he lost a lot of power.”]

        Better to just take it to the strip (the car, that is), and end all the bragging, IMHO.

        Or just don’t care, and hope it can pull off the line in less than five minutes, or pass before you have to go over three hills.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          @VolandoBajo, I see what you did there.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Nice to know some of the things I do don’t go over the tops of peoples’ heads. Though I’m sure it either eluded or baffled some.

            It was just too easy a move to resist, though. After all, some people do use their hp rating as a surrogate.

            There is a joke, both too long and to entirely NSFW that hinges on a mouse rescuing a lion from a jungle pit with a long piece of rope tied to the bumper of a Mercedes.

            Later the mouse falls into a hole, but the lion can’t find the rope or the Mercedes.

            But since the hole is smallish and not very deep, the lion uses his equipment (Johnson) lowered into the hole, for the mouse to grab and climb out of the hole.

            And the moral of the story is “when you have a big Johnson, you don’t need a Mercedes.”

            That’s the closest I can come to making it funny here, without risking deletion and/or banning.

            And it is relevant to the use of hp figures as a surrogate measurement, if you follow my drift. So perhaps it will get by OK.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    So is Steve now called Stacy? Not sure why Jenner had to blended into your blog.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Writing 101. Don’t lead off talking about the car, try to bring in an outside hook and weave the car in soon after. I don’t think it worked so well in this particular case.

  • avatar
    baconator

    Hm, so what would you say *is* the best sporty car in the $25-30k range?

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Depends what version of sporty you subscribe… grip, forward thrust, agility?

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Take your pic at that price range:

      GTI
      WRX
      BRZ
      370Z
      Focus RS
      Fiat 500 Abarth
      Mustang
      Camaro (especially the new ATS camaro)
      Miata

      Am I leaving any out?

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        370Z and Focus RS are over $30k, no?

        You’re leaving out the Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Both of them can be found under $25k, especially the FiST, but I think it makes more sense to cap the search at $30k rather than restricting it to such a narrow range.

        There’s probably a Mini with sporty equipment in that price range too.

        If you want to qualify this as sporty cars that are useful daily drivers, you are probably left with the GTI, WRX, Focus ST. Most of the rest can work, but make significant compromises in passenger/luggage space. I don’t see how a Miata could be anyone’s only car.

        • 0 avatar
          FractureCritical

          focus ST is no peach for reliability, either. It’s just not the public whipping boy that VW products have become.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            The MINI’s reliability record is truly dismal, but you don’t hear so much about that here, either.

            When VWs are written about here, the Nagging Nabobs of Negativism waste no time to jump in and sing the same old song. Maybe it’s best to skip the first few dozen posts and wait for the discussion to return to the car or thesis that’s pertinent.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Miata as an only car? DINK’s and/or chronically/devotedly single people only.

          Same could be said of Minis, SMART’s, and other strictly two-seaters.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @Wheatridger Spiro will be doing happy pirouettes in his grave at your use of his famous phrase Nattering Nabobs of Negativity, with only a slight change.

            But I have to point out that those who seek to defend VW’s reputation are not replete with numerous examples of VW products that have served faithfully for an extended interval.

            I once loved the VW marque. But like so many who formerly stood with the marque, I have been repeatedly burned by a downturn that seems to be pervasive.

            Counterexamples especially those of large scale proofs of longevity, are welcome, but I don’t see them.

            And even consider the irony of a VW long-term test that has only run for several thousand miles, not tens and tens of thousands of miles, and which is already exhibiting signs of transmission issues.

            That is not a Nabob Nattering Negativity, that is a data point that falls far on the wrong side of the line for reliability to be imputed.

      • 0 avatar
        baconator

        Yup, curious as to the reviewer’s sense of “best.”

  • avatar

    It would be nice if they let you have that color instrument cluster screen on the Golf SportWagen as well; however, you can only get it on the GTI and the Golf R, so mine has the monochrome screen. I’m sure a cluster with color screen could be retrofitted in if I wanted to go to all of that trouble. Also, the Discover/Composition Media infotainment system, which is the only one offered on the Mk7 Golf here in the States, is downright annoying. I wish they’d just given us the nicer and bigger Discover Pro system from jump instead of waiting until 2016.

    Regarding the proprietary MDI iPod cable (which will also go away in 2016): my Golf SportWagen came with a 30-pin Apple connector, which I thought was stupid since it’s a brand-new model and Apple has already phased that connector out, but Volkswagen’s logic is that you can use an adapter for newer devices. I tried to use the Lightning cable I bought with my old Jetta SportWagen. All it would do on the Golf SportWagen was cycle through connecting and disconnecting with my iPhone (including power/charge). Long story short, the cords with the blue and white bases do not work with the new Discover/Composition Media and Discover Pro systems in the Mk7 Golf. You need a cable with a green base. The green one should have come with the car, but of course if the dealer swapped it for a Lightning cable, it may be the old one with the blue or white base, which is incompatible. Volkswagen apparently did not tell this to the service advisors, so it wasn’t until we did a warranty claim for the radio (since we thought that was the problem) that the technician found a service bulletin on *his* end where Volkswagen had warned of needing the green cable. That might be your problem. And if, by chance, the cable itself is bad, Volkswagen has a 1-year/12,000-mile warranty on accessories, so you should have it replaced ASAP.

  • avatar
    jsmd

    Been waiting for a GTI 4dr S DSG with lighting package for a month now. Put deposit down and locked in at invoice price. Still shopping around but can’t find another one like it in the whole Socal area the last 4 weeks. I wonder if they are having issues ramping up production in Mexico. Almost every dealer in Socal has less than 3 GTI’s in inventory. VW has one car that will sell near MSRP and they can’t make them fast enough. It’s not like you can order one either so I just sit and wait. If the car wasn’t so good, I would have bought something else already.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Curious that cars.com reports 1505 4 doors and 872 2 doors. Personally a road trip in a new car sounds like a fun way to break it in.

      • 0 avatar
        jsmd

        VW.com has a convenient way to search all local inventory in Socal and almost everyone of the cars are in transit. Not my idea of fun to fly outside of socal just to buy a VW. I have done two European Deliveries of BMW’s in the last 8 years and that is my idea of a road trip in a new car plus saving over 10k from MSRP on a E92 M3.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          I’m dying to try Euro delivery some day….on the other hand, there aren’t too many Euro cars sold here I could afford…

          I wonder if Fiat has Euro delivery….

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Traveling to Serbia to pick up a 500L probably isn’t what most people have in mind for “Euro delivery”.

    • 0 avatar
      fttp

      how on earth are you waiting for that? That’s all that are on dealer lots.

  • avatar
    blueflame6

    If I was in the market for a small car the GTI would definitely be on my short list, so impressions about the car are interesting and welcome.

    That said, I can’t even begin to understand what the author is trying to accomplish by trying to make fun of Jenner in a car review. Please just stop.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Who said he was trying to make fun of Jenner (note the previous author’s reluctance to face the necessity to chose which first name)?

      He may have simply been trying to use it as an allegory of the GTI’s situation. It may have failed as a literary device, but that does not mean that he intended to poke fun…instead he saw a parallel and drew it.

      The mere mention of The Jenner, without sufficient praise and adulation for “her courage”, is considered to be making fun of her, but why cannot a simple straight (pardon the expression) reference be made, without it having to be construed as “making fun of”?

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    If you don’t think that freak deserves a little harmless fun poking, you’re another humorless SJW who should lighten up. Please just stop.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “SJW”… Single Jewish Woman?

      Oh, I like those!

      • 0 avatar
        Rod Panhard

        “Social Justice Warrior.” I had to look it up.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          *sigh* I like the other option better.

          At first I dyslexic-ed it into Wall Street Journal.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Social Justice…

          Weasel
          Wimp
          Wanker
          Washout
          Whackjob

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            my oldest son has a 2014 CC, loves it and has now gone all in as he just bought a new Golf TDI wagon for his wife. I’m impressed by the wagon, nice materials, good feel, but remain skeptical of long-term VW reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            Margarets Dad

            HELL YEAH SOCIAL JUSTICE WHO NEEDS IT AMIRITE?

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Is an SJW like a tree hugger only that they hug something else?

          Inquiring minds want to know.

          And what weapons does an SJW bring to battle?

          I have it on good authority — OK, I have it on authority, the perennially alert to injustice pch101 — that if you are deemed socially unjust, even if it is a matter of your conscientous beliefs, that you are not worthy of logical refutation, but rather that you deserve only name-calling.

          So is being an SJW a socially acceptable way for kids who got in trouble in elementary school for name-calling, to continue to call names without fear of consequences, at least from their SJW friends, and as long as they are not within arm’s length of those that they insult?

          Social Justice? Depends on your definition.

          Social Justice Warrior? I’d like to see your military maneuvers, before I comment further.

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      SJW? Oh crap. #Mensrights is leaking into TTAC.

      But wait, if you’re here, who is taking care of ethics in gaming journalism?

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        @Vega You know damn well Captain Jack is doing a fine job of ethics in game journalism, and in game development as well. Look no farther than the intersection of TTAC and Project: CARS.

        The man is busy fighting the good fight on multiple fronts. No need to drag him into a fight with this tar baby.

        But who in their right mind would think that an SJW would consider men to be anything other than the oppressor? Sorry, I think you’re on your own, if you are a man and are surrounded by a group of SJW’s.

        Unless I happen to wander by and am of a certain mood.

        But don’t count on it.

        I suspect social justice is a very artfully crafted concept, covering only what its warriors wish it to, and none else.

        If I’m wrong, I’m still waiting for a published agenda of the Social Justice Wars. I suspect it piggybacks off of such things as the Civil Rights Movement, and perhaps feminism, but co-opts a good deal more.

        But my advice is to keep your head down in the foxhole until they reveal themselves.

        And you know that they smell blood in the water, now that La Jenner has been mentioned irreverently.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Lynch

      Be careful, you are showing signs of having a sense of humor, which means you are not part of our target audience…

  • avatar
    carlness

    First of all, I’m not a fan of the gossip column references. I think you missed the target audience on that one. Second, you mention the extra headroom without a sunroof. This issue is very important to me as I usually don’t fit in sunroof equipped cars. That is why I ordered a GTI WITH a sunroof. It actually has the same if not more headroom as the glass extends up and back, out of the car rather than into the headliner taking away valuable interior space.

  • avatar
    THEEVILDRSIN

    Clumsy Jenner reference. Check out Jack’s writing to see how it’s done.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Question: For $25,000 why not a Mazda MX-5 Miata ? More of everything !

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      No backseat
      No utilitarian value
      Wrong wheel drive for winter
      Highway noise
      Poor proposition as a daily driver for many

      Why not a bullet bike, then?

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        Why not a bullet bike? Perhaps a desire to not be forced to (worst case) be killed outright or live the remainder of ones life as an amputee or (best case) to endure the cluless, asinine driving of an aging population…

  • avatar
    ajla

    LT Charger update: the cover on the driver’s side door handle started falling off. Luckily it popped back on. I’m not sure the cause on that.

    On the plus side the engine has settled in nicely. It’s coming up on its second oil change and hasn’t consumed a drop despite the MDS. I was idling next to friend’s Accord today and the difference in mechanical noise reminded me what attracted me to the Dodge in the first place.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Steve…

    ” The nearly turbo-lag free motor does a nice job of propelling the GTI ”
    Is this really so? The main reason I never really looked at the GTI more a few years past was the lag. It drove me nuts jerking away from stop sign after stop sign.
    I suppose I would have mastered it as I eventually did on the Tiguan I purchased for my daughter…but it seemed far worse.

    I actually want my next car to not have a sunroof as I never open them and the room taken up seems a waste.
    Perhaps IF they just designed a decent glass and not the opening the space would be saved and the noise resulting from most sunroofs lessened.

    And I might have missed it, but did you mention the rear corner view? I felt the wide D pillar was a bit much…but at least the actual rear window was not a fake and really wide.

    • 0 avatar

      I believe the Tiguan, Golf and Golf SportWagen feature glass that slides over the roof rather than into it. But, yes, there’s no point in spending the extra money on a sunroof if you won’t use it.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I realize they’re not for everyone, but I can’t imagine having a car without one. It’s like a little bonus moment every time you open it, especially at night or during a season change. YMMV

        • 0 avatar
          JD23

          I would definitely opt for sunroof-delete if doing so reduced the MSRP by at least several hundred dollars. I have used the sunroof in my car one or two times in almost five years, so it provides me almost no utility. The weather here in Texas is well-suited for a sunroof no more than 10% of the year; it is normally too hot, but is also too cold or raining for a significant portion of the year.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m with you on that. I haven’t owned a car without a sunroof…all the back to my hand-me-down 1990 Honda Accord EX.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          I haven’t had one since the 88 Thunderbird V8 I bought new, and I miss it for just those reasons, the little bonusses at night or at season changes.

          In fact, its absence is the only thing I really dislike about my Panther.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Kyree…
        I absolutely love the large dual glass on the MKS, but just never open for air.
        If they had made the glass a really solid double pane for light yet quiet it would have been better. Light and no loss of room.
        Suppose you would have to offer some sort of sliding cover…or just a decent darkened glass.

        • 0 avatar

          I went for the TDI SEL on my Golf SportWagen, so the sliding panoramic sunroof came bundled with that…although I do actually open mine. You’re right in that a sliding panoramic sunroof is automatically more compromised than a fixed one. The only car I know of that has a fixed sunroof with one large glass pane is the Range Rover Evoque, and as of MY2015, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport as well. It does have a retractable cover, in case you don’t want the sun beating down on your head.

          http://gadgetreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Range-Rover-Evoque-024.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I was amazed at the visibility in the 2-door GTI. The rear pillars aren’t much of a problem. There’s so much glass back there.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    I like the basic car but not the GTi package.

    I am looking at the base 2-door 1.8t, $19k sticker, as I drive in that world we all prefer to not think about when we jingle our keys as opposed the one we like to sit and think about when thinking of nice drives from the past.

    A 16″ wheel is package under $1000 from tirerack to replace 15 steelies with awful tires.

    5mt sounds odd but with abundant torque kept flat by the computer’s boost controller from just above idle to just below redline, OK.

    Imagine, a 2,900 lb car is sprightly these days. My A4 is 3700 on the local truck scale with me aboard. Same engine as your GTI and the A3 loaner last week.

    I would have to order, no 2 door base 1.8ts are near Boston per VW.com

    The GTI probably makes real good sense in Germany with their first world roads. Not US roads.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny ro

      But of course that is just my opinion.

      The APR tune is $600. More power than the 2.0 on 87 octane.

      A new decontented high performance German luxury for $20k.

      Camry, hmph.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “The GTI probably makes real good sense in Germany with their first world roads. Not US roads.”

      If that’s true for the GTI, which is at the lower end of the tautness spectrum when it comes to performance cars, then it must also be true of mostly everything else with sporting pretensions including motorcycles.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      A 1.8T Sportwagen with the APR tune was suggested to me on these pages some months ago as a remedy to my no-GTI-wagon pouting, and I have to say it still sounds tempting.

    • 0 avatar

      My neighbor bought that car, and loves it. He already located a set of BBS 16 inchers to replace the 15’s.

      After fighting with NYC roads, 16 or 17 inches…only. You can’t run low profiles when the potholes are deeper than the tires are high.

      German roads are all billard table flat.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Nice car and nice article. Interesting that Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld are right, the new generation of overly sensitive college leftists are the last generation’s soccer moms, being offended by the smallest joke.

    Stop ruining comedy you overly uptight leftists!

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      Let’s see, it’s the “smallest joke” when aimed at someone else who probably won’t fight back. Spend a night in most any bar to discover just how sensitive some of these jokesters are when on the receiving end. I suspect that bullies are mostly cowards underneath.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Please don’t ever talk to me again. Thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Jeff…let’s talk about comedy.
        I think that if comedy was every truly examined, it would be understood somebody or something is being made fun of or criticized or laughed at.
        This is part of human defense and correction…to laugh at itself. If this is not allowed, if sarcasm is made wrong and we cannot take others laughing at ourselves we fail. We become blind and condemned to live in a world of false, self established and approved reality.
        Can you think of any comedy that isn’t poking at something?
        Isn’t this the very definition of comedy?

        Oh…and by the way, the media friends of yours are such hippocrates like yourself. Today they are slamming the knucklehead in Spokane Rachel Dolezal for wanting to be black because she felt more comfortable as a black person…yet these same idiots have praised and shouted about this Jenner for going the direction he/she/it felt better about.
        So what is it going to be? Why can one be allowed to be they way they feel and another slammed??? If fact, Rachel is probably MORE right to claim she is black than the knucklhead formerly known Bruce does at being a female. At least she can really claim she has black blood in her…since we all did migrate from Africa.

        But…I say we can and should make fun of both. Why not…hopefully they can.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Waingrow

          Trailer, I was mostly with you until you went all ad hominem on me. Calling me a hypocrite (though you got the spelling wrong) does not move things along in a nice way. Nonetheless, I’ll try to respect what you said by treating it seriously. I agree that satire and other forms of humorous attack are the lifeblood of a free people. I love all of it. What I don’t care for is when the strong pick on the weak. That to me is cowardice and meanness. Marginalized people are generally weak because they’re outnumbered, so they make easy targets. It’s more a sign of cruelty than wit to go after them. That’s all I was trying to say, and perhaps I could have phrased it better.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            Are you saying Jenner is being picked on? He’s whored himself out to the Kardashians TV show for years,and now he’s put himself on magazine covers and all over media with “the change”.

            There is nothing weak about Jenner. He’ll get another 5 years in the spotlight.

            Oh, and Arthur Ashe must be spinning in his grave.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Won’t fight back? How about just fight, then, not fight back?

        What else do you call a massive pre-emptive, look at me, look at me, campaign designed to force observation, recognition of the process and acceptance of the result?

        This was no quiet transformation (sorry for finding it necessary to use the trans prefix…I could find no other that fits in that context, in case you are offended by its use) it was a massive rollout of a new persona, intended to be the center of discussion in virtually all the mass media for weeks.

        It is “in your face”, here I am…I am Caitlyn, do not ignore me, do not just let me be, acknowledge me! What I have done is not just be who I want to be physically, it is what I want to do in terms of publicity, social awareness, etc. etc.

        I don’t care what kind of body modification Bruce decided to do, or that he has decided that the end result should be called Caitlyn. What I object to is having this process shoved in my face and in my eyes and ears on every conceivable medium, from supermarket checkout aisles, to mass media forums of every stripe, and on and on, incessantly now for weeks.

        Does anyone in 2015 not already know that this sort of thing exists, and has been done hundreds of times before, even by well-known public figures? What is so special about Caitlyn that deserves instant stardom and recognition. Surely it is not because of the pioneering nature of the event.

        Case in point for all of you who will rebut that the public needs to be made aware. I would argue that the public is already aware. After all, what was Walter Carlos Williams => Wendy Carlos Williams?

        And given that, what is tabloid-worthy about Bruce Jenner => Caitlyn Jenner, other than that we now have one more Kardashian family member to have shoved in our faces incessantly?

        Sorry, honey, you’re a day late and a dollar short, and you may have been able to employ the hype machines of pop culture to give you fifteen more minutes of fame by creating another identity, I see nothing at all else that is exceptional about this media circus.

        Flame away, but try to bring at least one fact with you, so as not to immediately label yourself as a dupe of the publicity/hype industry.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “Stop ruining comedy you overly uptight leftists!”

      Uh-huh. We’ve got Stewart and Colbert.
      You’ve got Dennis Miller and a half-senile Clint Eastwood RNC speech.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        half senile Clint Eastwood RNC speech?

        They say that when you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit.

        Apparently a direct hit, right on the butt, in this case.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Mr. Eastwood’s jokes were too pathetic to take offense at, whereas I’ve laughed at Jon Stewart’s skewering of liberal politicians because those are actually funny even if they hit closer to home.

          The more sensitive conservatives on the other hand have been yelping at liberal comedians’ jokes for years. For some reason they’ve got no answer in the humor department.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There’s a reason why the right can pump out Rush Limbaugh clones by the bucketload yet they are incapable of finding their own answer to Jon Stewart.

            (Comedy is a lot harder than bile, and genuine meanspiritedness is rarely funny.)

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Indeed. Just as the left in the media can’t seem to successfully capitalize on partisan bitterness to nearly the extent of Limbaugh, et al, the right has no sense of humor.

            The funniest part of Eastwood’s speech was listening to the audience lap it up. They were just so desperate for someone remotely funny that anything resembling a joke was going to get a roar of laughter regardless of how bad it was.

          • 0 avatar
            bortlicenseplate

            Actually Conservatives – OK, maybe they’re mostly libertarians who lean Conservative – do have very funny people; they’re just too wary of showbiz career suicide to yell it from the rooftops. Norm MacDonald & SNL writer Jim Downey come to mind.

            There are also the rare, fiercely vocal exceptions, like Gavin McInnes, who thankfully has enough F-U money in the bank to not worry about career suicide, and so he does indeed tell it like it is, and to hilarious effect.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Oh, god, no! The leftists can’t be devoid of a sense of humor! They have Jon Stewart. The right only has Limbaugh, and Clint Eastwood’s empty chair routine, and although people laughed at it, it was pathetic because only Republicans laughed at it.

      Stop the presses. There is no way Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld could have questioned the sense of humor of the left. It just can’t be. The world is askew, I tell you!

      It says right here in my book of Received Wisdom that liberals have all the sense of humor, and conservatives have NONE! NONE! I tell you!

      Stop lying and come to order.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    Bertel? Is that you?

    Calling Caitlin and imbecile is about as funny as calling subie enthusiasts dykes, which is the headline that I believe broke the camel’s back for Der Schmidt. It isn’t that you are being insensitive, it is that you are being lazy. You haven’t insulted people’s sensitivity, you have insulted their intelligence. Get it together ttac.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      @Cole Trickle please tell me what Caitlyn has brought to the party that isn’t imbecilic, tedious and “already done”…as in been there, done that, some of us didn’t buy the t-shirt then so we aren’t going to buy it just because Caitlyn is huckstering it.

      PS I do concede that the comment in this context was equally imbecilic click-baiting, an opinion the author was entitled to but which was at right angles to, and totally irrelevant about, the topic at hand.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I didn’t see click-baiting at all – who the hell is going to come to TTAC for authentic Jenner news? Tying GTI, transforming and Jenner in was the point…for GTI-interested people.

        Or maybe I’m too cerebral. Or the opposite of cerebral.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The Jenner comment was just a cheap shot that added nothing to the post, and was placed for “click bait” purposes only.

    Hope your GTI gives you years of trouble-free service.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    I will refuse to stoop to Caitlin bashing.

    How did the GTI handle in turns? Bet it was understeered like Bruce Jenner.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    The only humor in this article is the juxtaposition of ‘VW Long-Term Test’ and ‘3950 miles’.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Golden.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      I’m with Mr T. Ducken’s observation.

      Forget the Jenner references, the lack of MPI, the actual HP rating, the interior plastics or the supportive seats. The story here is that this thing has 3950 miles on it and likely needs a new gearbox! Lmaoo

      If you’re like me and actually work hard to earn money, why would you fork it over to VW for this POS?

      Steve Lynch; Lemon Law the GTI and get your roadster back, please.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    I have a 2015 GTI 4-door, autobahn package, 6spd. manual have 22K miles on it since delivery last Labor Day weekend. Bought it after running up 120K on 2011 GTI 4-door, 6spd. manual. The Mk7 is 11x better drive than the Mk6 – absolute joy. I was skeptical of buying a VW. But both my Mk6 and the new Mk7 have been solid, well built, comfortable and 100% reliable.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I’ve seriously thought about asking to have my nads whacked because at 60 they’re still such an effing distraction every time I’m around women. I’m tired of keeping that within manageable limits and I’d like to use my last couple of sentient decades for other thoughts.

    I guess I applaud people who try to make changes for their personal betterment.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    We live in a world where one can decide to be black or a woman.

    I think Steve or anyone should be free to comment.

    Every one else can suck it…

  • avatar
    Brumus

    Almost a certainty Michael Sam won’t rejoin the Alouettes after leaving for “personal reasons.”

    I saw a mid-80s Lotus Turbo Esprit today at University St. / St. Antoine.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    Nice to see that kind of fuel efficiency in a performance-oriented car. When you put an appropriately sized turbo in a car it’s amazing to see both performance and efficiency. So many companies (Ford is the worst) are putting undersized turbos in cars that never end up meeting the fuel efficiency numbers printed on the window sticker.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      What car does meet the published numbers of the EPA testing rigamarole?

      And what is your evidence that Ford is the worst at the shortfall? Numbers and references please. Without them, it just smacks of fanboi-ism.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The door trim has a light up strip!?! Exciting! I would like to see this implemented on something like a Jag below the wood trim, in a light tan, relaxing color to complement the hides.

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